Eagles WRs coach still thinks Nelson Agholor has 1st-round talent

Eagles WRs coach still thinks Nelson Agholor has 1st-round talent

New Eagles receivers coach Mike Groh has known about Nelson Agholor for over half a decade. 

Groh was the receivers coach at Alabama from 2011-12, the exact time Agholor, a five-star prospect out of Tampa, Florida, was making his college decision. Agholor went to USC and ended up being a first-round pick a few years later. 

What did Groh think of Agholor back then? 

"Well, we recruited him at Alabama," Groh said Friday, breaking into a smile. "We thought he was pretty good. And still think that."

Groh, 45, was hired this offseason to replace former wideouts coach Greg Lewis, the only casualty from Doug Pederson's first staff. Perhaps part of the reason Lewis was let go was that the young receivers in the building — Agholor included — failed to improve throughout the 2016 season. 

From the time Agholor was drafted by the Eagles with the 20th pick in 2015, the USC product has been a disappointment. Thrust into a starting role, Agholor simply hasn't lived up to his draft status and last year things got so bad, Pederson was forced to give him a mental health game day during the season.

Groh wasn't here for any of that. He was with the Bears in 2015 and with the Rams in 2016. All he knows of Agholor as a pro is the tape he's watched from last season and from seeing Agholor on the practice field during OTAs and minicamp this spring. 

"Nelson Agholor is a first-round pick and has first-round talent," Groh said. 

This spring, Agholor has actually shown it. 

Now, every Agholor story that has come out of spring practices has been and should be met with a great level of apprehension. Until Agholor actually shows he can perform in a game, skepticism is just. 

But all Groh can go on is what he's seen this spring. And what he's seen has been pretty darn good. 

"I've been really pleased with the spring that he had," Groh said. "He had a really productive spring. He attacked the spring. He's shown up and made an impact at virtually every practice. Really excited about where he's at right now."

Agholor, 24, was the standout star of this year's spring practices. And after Jordan Matthews was forced out of practice with a knee injury, Agholor took over in the slot and impressed even more. Groh really likes Agholor's versatility, saying it makes him valuable in the Eagles' offense. 

With Alshon Jeffery and Torrey Smith and Jordan Matthews on the team, Agholor seems destined to fill a backup role this season, which might be better for him — a chance to develop without the bright lights a starting job brings with it. That spotlight really got to Agholor last year and his confidence was clearly shaken. 

"I think confidence is a result of demonstrative performance," Groh said. "The more positive results he has in practice, I think that will elevate his confidence. He's had a really good spring from that standpoint."

From the time Groh arrived, he's been working on the basics with Agholor, although he mentioned that not specific to the former first-rounder. Agholor spent his spring tracking his drops during OTAs, a practice that is uniquely Nelson Agholor, concerned — perhaps overly — about the details. 

The Eagles hope it works. They hope Groh is the guy to help get some return out of their former first-round pick. 

On Friday, Groh echoed something he used to hear from coaching great Bill Parcells: "By the third year, a guy ought to tell you who he's going to be at this level." 

The clock is ticking. This season will be Year 3 for Agholor. 

Michael Vick's father arrested on drug-ring charges

Michael Vick's father arrested on drug-ring charges

NEWPORT NEWS, Va. — The father of former pro-football star Michael Vick has been arrested on charges of being involved in a drug ring.

The Virginian-Pilot reports that federal authorities arrested 55-year-old Michael Dwayne Boddie on Thursday. A federal indictment unsealed Wednesday in Newport News alleges that he and 11 others conspired to sell heroin.

Boddie is being held without bond until a Monday detention hearing. He was assigned a court-appointed attorney.

Lawrence Woodward, an attorney who's represented both men over the years, did not respond to requests for comment. The federal prosecutor's office declined to comment on the case beyond the charges.

Vick rose to stardom with the Atlanta Falcons before serving prison time for running a dogfighting operation. He played for the Eagles, Jets and Steelers before announcing his retirement in February.

NFL Notes: Chiefs extend Andy Reid, part ways with GM John Dorsey

NFL Notes: Chiefs extend Andy Reid, part ways with GM John Dorsey

The Chiefs have given coach Andy Reid a contract extension and parted ways with general manager John Dorsey, making two massive decisions on what is typically a quiet week in the offseason.

The 59-year-old Reid was entering the final year of the five-year deal he signed in 2013, shortly after the end of his long and mostly successful tenure in Philadelphia. Reid is 43-21 with three playoff appearances in four seasons in Kansas City, helping to deliver an AFC West title last season.

Less than an hour after his extension was announced, the Chiefs said Dorsey -- who was hired to work in tandem with Reid -- would not be retained. Dorsey was also entering the final year of his contract.

The Chiefs did not say who would take over the GM duties on an interim basis (see full story).

Raiders: Derek Carr agrees to $125M extension
ALAMEDA, Calif. -- Raiders quarterback Derek Carr has finalized a five-year contract extension that will keep him tied to the team through the 2022 season.

Carr tweeted Thursday that an agreement had been reached to add five years to his current rookie deal that expires after this season. The contract will be worth $125 million, according to a person familiar with the deal who spoke on condition of anonymity because terms were not released.

Both sides had expressed a strong interest in signing a long-term deal with Carr, who was scheduled to enter the final year of his rookie contract.

Carr had imposed a deadline of the start of training camp in late July (see full story).

Patriots: Mitchell has  deal with Scholastic Books
NEW YORK -- New England Patriots wide receiver Malcolm Mitchell can be sweet when he wants to be.

Mitchell has a three-book deal with Scholastic, the children's publisher told The Associated Press on Thursday. The books include a newly illustrated edition of his self-published "The Magician's Hat," to come out next May, and two more original works.

Mitchell is a literacy advocate who founded the "Read With Malcolm" program. With New England, Mitchell caught 32 passes last year during the regular season and another six in the Super Bowl, when the Patriots came from behind and defeated the Atlanta Falcons 34-28 (see full story).